Driver Charged With Murder in Kalamazoo Killings

6 counts, plus 2 counts of attempted murder
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Feb 22, 2016 1:45 PM CST
Driver Charged With Murder in Kalamazoo Killings
A member of the community prays before the start of a prayer service at Centerpoint Church in Kalamazoo, Mich., on Sunday.   (Andraya Croft)

A prosecutor has charged an Uber driver with six counts of murder and two counts of attempted murder in a series of random shootings in western Michigan, the AP reports. The Kalamazoo County prosecutor filed the charges Monday against 45-year-old Jason Dalton of Kalamazoo Township. Dalton, who was arrested Sunday in Kalamazoo, is expected to make an initial court appearance later Monday; the prosecutor's office says it doesn't know if Dalton has an attorney. Police say the rampage began about 6pm Saturday outside an apartment complex, where a woman was seriously wounded. A little more than four hours later, a father and son were fatally shot while looking at vehicles at a car dealership. Fifteen minutes after that, five people were shot in the parking lot of a Cracker Barrel restaurant.

An Uber passenger says he called police to report an erratic driver more than an hour before authorities allege Dalton began shooting people at random. Matt Mellen tells WWMT that he grabbed a ride around 4:30pm Saturday and that Dalton, who was his driver, called himself "Me-Me," had a dog in the back seat, and soon started "blowing through stop signs and sideswiping cars," per the AP. Mellen jumped out of the car when it came to a stop and ran, and he's upset that Uber didn't heed his warnings when he called to alert them. "I tried contacting Uber after I had talked to the police, saying that we needed to get this guy off the road," he says. Meanwhile, Kalamazoo County Sheriff Richard Fuller says Uber is cooperating with law enforcement officials investigating the shootings. Fuller adds that questions about motive and the shooter's frame of mind will be "the hardest to answer." A principal at the Indiana high school Dalton attended says Dalton was a good football player who also was a wrestler and track team member and "never got into trouble." (More mass shootings stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.